Monday, July 19, 2010

Raspberry Blackberry Mochi Cake: On being famous and recognized

For all those who use the blog and find it helpful.  Thank you.

The blog got started when I wanted to streamline my efforts in helping my friends to get into the kitchen.  I've always enjoyed cooking, and getting into the kitchen came fairly naturally to me, especially with my mom being so active in the kitchen herself.  But growing up, raising kids, working, and the day to day nonsense of life make cooking sometimes so cumbersome and not worth it that many just give up.  I can understand that but I wanted so much to make cooking faster, simpler and more accessible to the person who may just not have all the time in the world to invest in a meal.  That's really the focus of my blog.

However, along the almost two years that I've been doing it, a funny thing has happened.  I've gotten a lot out of writing the blog.  Initially I really thought it was all my giving to the readers what they needed, but what has happened is that I have gotten a lot more in return.  I can honestly say that I receive much pleasure when I see and hear that people are using my blog.  I get quite a few emails from people I don't know who tell me that they have started cooking and that they like my recipes.  That really gets me excited.  Of course I love hearing that people like my recipes and my ideas, but more than that I get thrilled to hear that someone else has started cooking.  I equate it to the pleasure I get when I student I am helping with writing, suddenly saying, "OH I GET IT!" or "OH, I like to write now."  My hard work has paid off and somebody is being changed through it. 

The other more comical aspect of it is that, as my friend EM puts it, I am a "celebrity."  Brother calls me "semi-famous" and most recently I've discovered I am the topic of discussion even when I am nowhere near the room.  Close friends of mine meet people, and somehow get on the topic of Week of Menus.   Sometimes the "Oh my gosh, you know her?" question often comes up and then my close friends nod and say, "Yes...I was roommates/best friends/good friends/hanging friends/teaching buddies/older sister to my buddy."  I find it hilarious. When friends tell me that I have "celebrity" status I have to laugh maniacally, because recently my "celebrity" status has found me in the following situations, all within the last 10 days.

I showed up at a birthday party of a Friends' twins, only to hear someone gasp ,"Oh my gosh!  You're the Week of Menus person."  It was kind of nice to be recognized, but it became more funny when I was immediately embarrassed after I realized that my fly was down while she was addressing me.

While walking out of Costco with two bickering kids in the shopping cart, wearing a pair of ratty shorts, my sports bra and a t-shirt that I had worn for my AM yoga class and somehow managed to spill a ton of coffee on, I got recognized in the parking lot.  My hair was disheveled, I think my fly was up this time, but I am pretty sure I smelled and looked frustrated as my kids were going non stop.  This person was a friend of a friend and called to me across the parking lot, gave me a warm hug,  and the point of conversation was of course Week of Menus.  We had a nice fun chat, all the while I was self-conscious, staring at my coffee stain as this person was impeccably dressed and looking cute and spunky.  Not a good moment.

Finally,while walking through a shopping mall with another friend and our combined five kids in tow. I ran into another friend of a friend.  True to form I was wearing my super celebrity most stylish outfit of a ratty tshirt with possibly perspiration stains under it for the day was hot and I was trying to calmly manage three of my children through one of the most potentially crowded days in the store, the Nordstroms sale. My face was shiny for sure, my fly was up (I'm now forever going to be worried about that) but I was pretty tired and not feeling all that peppy when I ran into friend of another friend, her husband, and new baby.  The conversation was fun, but choppy as Son and Daughters don't like to see me talk to anyone but them.  We hastily broke away as it was clear that I wasn't going to be able to have a graceful adult conversation.

I will have to do as Friend EM has advised, which is to go out in public with sunglasses.  This is not to appear cool, but to rather hide myself so that no one can see me in my nonsenical glory.

In the meanwhile, as you laugh at me, and I truly invite you to laugh at me for it keeps me humble and reminds me who I really am, I thought I'd encourage you to to make another variation on the mochi cake.   I gave another whirl at the blueberry one to see if the texture was better in the 9X13 pan vs. the muffin pan, only I had no blueberries, only raspberries and blackberries.  I am REALLY glad I did it however, because I loved the texture in the 9x13 pan a lot!   I think the problem is that I was going for too much crust on the muffins and I over cooked the blueberry mini mochi cakes.  The flavor on these were scrumptious, the texture really special and overall just a perfect bite of fun.  Run and get your mochi and make these now!
Raspberry Blackberry Mochi Cake
adapted from the Food Librarian
Makes 24 regular size muffin/mini cakes, or one 9x13 pan

1 lb box mochiko (sweet rice flour - equivalent to 3 cups)
2 sticks of butter (1 cup) melted
1 1/2 cups of sugar
12 oz can evaporated skim milk
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

6 oz fresh blackberries
6 oz fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. (I find it easiest to just use cooking spray oil like Pam).

In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and sugar. Whisk until well combined.

Add evaporated milk and mix. Add eggs and mix well.

Add vanilla extract, salt and mix. Add baking powder and whisk until it is fully incorporated. Finally add mochiko powder, and mix until the texture is uniform and smooth.

Carefully pour about half the mixture into greased 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle the top evenly with blackberries and raspberries.

Carefully scoop remaining mochi batter on top, smoothing out with a rubber spatula to create a smooth surface.

Bake for 1 hour, until crust is golden and slightly crisp.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then serve. Perfect with coffee ice cubes drink. 

Printable recipe

6 comments:

beem221 said...

this is really funny! so i am the friend who gave the blueberry mochi cake recipe (which i got from justjennrecipes blog) to your friend HYK! i saw her in passing on sunday and she told me about your blog but not the address. someone totally separate just sent me your blog! on top of that i am old friends with silliesmile which i see on your blog roll. is this making any sense?? all this to say i totally get the mochi craze because i was on it too! check out green tea mochi cake (YUM - i make it w/o the red bean) and recently modified the blueberry mochi cake to include chopped strawberries and blueberries combined - PERFECTION. you gotta try it. my next modification is the green tea w/chopped strawberries!

talk about a small world...

Joanne Choi said...

beem....you are the starter of the nonsense that made me completely insane and enraged with anger (read my post about original plain coconut mochi cake.) i'm so glad to meet you online. i'm wondering who gave you the blog address if not HYK? I have some fans down in OC, but not that many. This recipe has less sugar than Just Jenn's recipe which comes from some Hawaiian cookbook. But yes...me love me some mochi all the time. Green tea coconut is next for me!

beem221 said...

i will have to ask my friend who gave me your blog where she got it because it didn't sound like she knew you personally. pretty crazy! i am sure now you'll have many more OC readers if i have anything to do with it! btw - do you prefer using the sweetened condensed milk or coconut milk in your mochi cake recipes? i haven't tried the coconut milk yet but have seen it in recipes. OH! and the very first mochi cake recipe i made was a pineapple macademia nut one - YUM! got it from print from someone. used canned pineapple - very tropical. i'm thinking of a mango one soon! i'm so glad i found a mochi cake partner in crime!

Me, the hubby, plus 3 said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I just made the strawberry version (my first mochi cake ever). I let it cool for 15 minutes and had my first piece. it is SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! where have you been all my life!

Anonymous said...

So yummy. I used all 12 oz blackberries though and no raspberries because the store did not have any really fresh raspberries. This would work great with any berry though. I served it whipped cream (Alton Brown's recipe whipped cream- first result on the food network website when you type whipped cream- but with a tablespoon of Kahlua added in as well). It was a hit! Thank you!

caninecologne said...

hi there! I saw your recipe while searching for a version of raspberry mochi cake. I was pleasantly surprised to see this recipe also had blackberries, which was nice. I just wanted to let you know that I just made it earlier tonight and will be posting it eventually on my blog, with a link crediting your post, of course. I hope you don't mind that.

I can't wait til my guests try the cake tomorrow! Thanks so much! I really like your cupcake recipes too, especially the usage of dehydrated fruits. Can't wait to try making the peach and blueberry cupcakes.

fyi - I'm a fellow educator as well (i'm a high school counselor). :)

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